Wednesday 7 August 2019

Spacebib apologises for fat-shaming e-mail

Speaking of apologies...

I subscribe to the mailing list of Spacebib, an online platform for running events like Shape Run and Hello Kitty Run.

Yesterday, I received this e-mail below from Spacebub with the subject line, "I hope I never get fat".

Dear Sm,

Everyone hates getting fat. But how many of us really do something about it. This email isn't a typical type of inspirational email or those transformation case studies to encourage you to lose weight.

The amount of time you wasted being unhappy about your weight is astronomical. What a waste. Because, you will learn that nobody care if you're fat except you. Well, maybe your mother cares, but no one else.

For a lot of people, their weight is something they can have a little bit of control over by adjusting their diet and exercise regimen. But the reality is, your health is what’s important, not the number on the scale. When you make being healthy your number one priority, you’ll be surprised how little that number matters.

So these are a few fantastic running events to get you moving in a healthy way.

  1. Run For Singapore Online Challenge: Sign up now and start running anywhere and anytime to contribute to the total distance target. So far more than 10,000km out of the 54,000km has been reached. (Biggest Singapore running movement)
  2. Double Seventh Festival Online Race from 7 Aug to 22 Aug at Anywhere. Run with your partner and celebrate by earning your first ever glow-in-the-dark finisher race medal. (Registration ends today)
  3. Batman Run Series Singapore on 21 Sep @ 6pm at Marina Barrage. Get a Batman fanny pack if you sign up at Spacebib. (Limited to the first 2,000 participants)
  4. International Cat Day Online Race 2019: Celebrate International Cat Day on 8 August with a run for your furry friend. (Cat video not included)
  5. UD SG-Ultra Marathon 2019 on 19 October at Gardens by the Bay East. Long distance running is the best way for you to lose weight. (Moderation is important.)
  6. BFF Run on 6 October @ 7am at Bedok Reservoir Park. Run together with your best friends and lose some weight together. (Running with friends is fun)
  7. Shape Run on 25 Aug at Kallang Practice Track. Yes, as the event name say, great way for you to keep in Shape.
  8. NERF Action Xperience Online Race 2019: Gear up and join us in preparing for the launch of World's first NERF Action Xperience at Marina Square at the end of the year. (Great for family to get fit together.)

Remember beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and your happiness shouldn’t be based on how much you weigh.

With Love,
The Spacebib Team

Two and a half hours later, I received another e-mail from Spacebib. This time the subject line was "Previous email".

Dear Sm,

We are embarrassed. But most of all, we are deeply sorry for the previous email that was sent to you titled "I hope I never get fat".

At the heart of our mission is the idea that we are inspiring people in a positive way. We don't say this because it sounds nice. It's the goal that everyone at Spacebib works towards every day.

Bias and insensitivity have no place at Spacebib, and we have zero tolerance for them. Unfortunately, the previous email has caused some unhappiness. This is saddening because we know we should have made our content in a clear and sensitive way.

We’re sorry for any hurt that was unintentionally caused and we take full responsibility and apologise unreservedly.

We will be more sensitive and scrutinise our future communications to prevent such incident from happening again.

Nothing is more important than supporting you in your running journey and we hope you will give us the opportunity to once again provide you the positive Spacebib Experience you have come to expect from us.

The Spacebib Team

I guess Spacebib must have received complaints that the earlier e-mail was fat-shaming people despite the last line about "happiness shouldn’t be based on how much you weigh".

But hey, at least no brownface.